GOP Rep Jim Jordan sued for failing to prevent sexual abuse at Ohio State
Embattled Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has been named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit filed by former Ohio State athletes who say they were sexually abused by the school's sports doctor, Richard Strauss. over a twenty-year period.
Jordan was assistant wrestling coach at OSU for eight of those years, overlapping with Strauss' tenure for all of that time. Eleven of Jordan's former wrestlers say that they can't imagine how Jordan didn't know about the serial sexual abuse of his wrestlers, who spoke about it openly; and two of Jordan's former students claim they told Jordan about the abuse, and he did nothing. Jordan continues to claim he was unaware.
On Tuesday, Jordan’s public-relations crisis became a legal nightmare. Attorneys filed a massive class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Ohio on behalf of an as-yet-unnamed former OSU wrestler. The law firm Sauder Schelkopf is seeking to represent all the students and athletes “treated” by Strauss in his two decades at the school, from the late ‘70s to the late ‘90s – a number they estimate will amount to “at least 1,500.”
Jordan, the jut-jawed anti-gay crusader who’s the fourth-ranking Republican leader in the House, is singled out in the suit: He’s one of only three former school officials named, including Strauss, though the action is aimed at all the coaches, administrators and others in positions of responsibility at OSU who, it claims, stood by while students and student-athletes were repeatedly “sexually abused, harassed, and molested,” and “forced” to seek treatment from a well-known predator even after they complained. (Strauss was the sole team doctor for the wrestlers; the men say they either had to choose to let injuries go untreated, as the lawsuit says some did, or subject themselves to yet another assault.)